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Full text of "What would happen to the Irish Minority. : A most potent argument against Home Rule"

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The Editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, in a leading 
article dealing with the Election of the Aldermen on 
the London Council, says : — 

" But what is far more serious is the effect, the very serious 
effect, which the gerrymandering- of the Council will have upon 
the cause of Home Rule. Let us give credit where credit is 
due, and recognize frankly and without demur the fact that the 
Council has been gerrymandered chiefly, if not entirely, owing 
to the earnestness and ability with which the Star has advocated 
the course which Mr. Firth carried to victory yesterday. Now, 
it is no breach of the anonymities of journalism to say that the 
Star is Mr. T. P. O'Connor — one of the ablest and most indus- 
trious of the lieutenants of Mr. Parnell — whose journalistic 
talents we insisted upon repeatedly long before his present 
paper came into existence. Now what is it that Mr. T. P. O'Connor 
has done ? He has taught all men that when Parliament creates 
a subordinate assembly to carry on the work of local self- 
government, it is in accordance with Irish ideas of fair play to 


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deny to the minority the right to be represented in accordance 
with its numbers — a right which is recognized as a matter of 
course in every Committee of the Imperial Parliament. The 
London County Council is nearer to a Home Rule Parliament 
than any other body that exists in this country. It has to govern 
a population as large as that of Ireland, and infinitely more 
wealthy. Its functions are strictly limited by Act of Parliament, 
and it has an immensity of heavy practical work to perform. 
But from the very first moment of its existence the one pre- 
occupation of the inspiring genius of the Star has been to gerry- 
mander the Council, to evade an appeal to the constituencies, and 
to control everything, not from the point of view of the actual 
administrative work that is to be done, but in order to use the 
privileges already conceded to extort more. If this can be done 
in London, where the people are undisciplined by wirepullers, 
and distrustful of electioneerers, what security will the 
Irish minority have of fair play in a Dublin 
Parliament, managed as it would be by a caucus that is as 
homogeneous as a patent screw, and which keeps 
step like a Macedonian phalanx ? The refusal of the 
majority to treat the minority with some regard to the elementary 
principles of justice and fair play is the most potent 
argument against Home Rule for Ireland that has 
reinforced the failing ranks of the Unionists for many a long 
day."— Pall Mall Gazette, February 6th, 1889.